Our selection of videos on this month's theme: foresight and the urban poor.
Addressing the urban challenge: Are there promising examples in Africa?
Cities are focal centers for sustainability. The world's future is an urban future. The majority of global future population growth will occur in urban areas, and the infrastructure to support this growth in many developing areas is limited. This can result in the acceleration of unstable housing developments called slums, shanty-towns, squatter communities, and illegal or informal settlements. These areas are manifestations of urban poverty, and they are common in many rapidly growing urban centers around the globe. These areas typically lack basic services such as water and sanitation leading to poor health, disease, and higher rates of mortality and morbidity. The informal economies and lack of community services such as education and health care contribute to a chronically challenging life for those living in these high-density living areas.
Slum upgrading is a successful urban renewal approach to help in the provision of basic services and a pathway to stable housing and land tenure. Present and future urban planning will need to address the reality of rural to urban migration with sustainable, cost effective approaches to accommodating the population growth experienced by urban centers.
Dr. Susan M. Blaustein is co-founder and Co-Director of the Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), a project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University established to assist sub-Saharan cities in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Susan explains the process and goals of MCI, which aims to jumpstart a period of fruitful social and economic development and making extreme poverty a thing of the past.
The World Bank is putting forth its new Urban and Local Government Strategy at a critical time. For the first time in history, more than half the world’s people live in cities. Over 90 percent of urban growth is occurring in the developing world, adding an estimated 70 million new residents to urban areas each year. The new Strategy advocates a new paradigm aimed at harnessing urbanization for growth and poverty reduction.
Development planner specialising in integrating environmental health and resource management into urban plans and policies. Works with the Human Settlements Programme at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Advises many international agencies on urban policy; Editor of the international journal Environment and Urbanization and co-author of several Earthscan books including Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World: Local Solutions for Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America (with Jorge E. Hardoy & Diana Mitlin), Earthscan, 2000.
This program takes viewers on a field trip with Lakshman Yapa, a Penn State professor who teaches a unique class that searches for innovative ways to begin eradicating urban poverty.
Provoke Radio produced a segment on eliminating poverty by the year 2015. Listen to what countries around the world plan to do and are doing to make our world a better place.